Mount Maunganui

  • Pa, Mount Maunganui.
    Copyright: Heritage New Zealand.
  • Pa, Mount Maunganui.
    Copyright: Heritage New Zealand.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 6401 Date Entered 11th April 1984


City/District Council

Tauranga City


Bay of Plenty Region

Legal description

Lot 1 DP 429354 (CT 515000), South Auckland Land District



This site is on the volcanic hill which is the Historic Reserve at the the seaward end of the Mt Maunganui sandspit.

Archaeological Features

Archaeological evidence is to be found in most parts of this historic reserve. Of particular note are:

(1) the earthwork features of the summit pa (U14/149)

(2) the ditch and bank pa on the lower slopes facing the inner harbour (U14/173)

(3) the extensive shell middens, particularly on the slopes facing the inner harbour, and the sandspit

(4) midden and general occupation debris in the smaller beaches or canoe haulout areas on the rocky shore facing the ocean

(5) the evidence of the occupation of the European militia, and of the pilot station, from the 1860s (U14/250)

Supporting Evidence

The Mount has not been the subject of any specific archaeological -investigation, and there are no publications dealing with the archaeology of the area, although it is often cited' as an example of extensive settlement and defence in prehistory.

The Mount, and 'the events which occurred there in antiquity figure prominently in the traditions of both the Ngatiranginui and the Ngaiterangi people. The reserve management plan notes: ‘Mauao remains today immersed in the poetry, waiata, chants and history of its onetime Maori occupants and, as in the past, it is still a most revered and respected landmark, containing the traditions and mana of its Maori people’. The Ngaiterangi people suffered a severe defeat here at the hands of the Ngapuhi in 1818, and there appears to have been no significant Maori occupation of the area since that time. Early European visitors to the area noted the extensive terracing of the hill, and the dense middens.


Although no specific archaeological investigations have been undertaken, the archaeological importance of the Mount as assessed from surface features are widely acknowledged. Together with its spiritual and traditional importance to the Maori people, and its place in the 19th century European settlement of the area, this ensures its position as one of the major archaeological sites of the Bay of Plenty.


Additional informationopen/close

Historical and associated iwi/hapu/whanau

Ngati Pukenga

Ngati Ranginui

Construction Dates

Public NZAA Number


Completion Date

21st April 1982

Report Written By

JR McKinley

Other Information

Information in this report is from the citation prepared for the NZHPT Archaeology Committee at the time of the registration.

Please note that entry on the New Zealand Heritage List/Rarangi Korero identifies only the heritage values of the property concerned, and should not be construed as advice on the state of the property, or as a comment of its soundness or safety, including in regard to earthquake risk, safety in the event of fire, or insanitary conditions.